Devin Haney believes that Jorge Linares is his toughest opponent yet, with the Venezuelan looking to reassert himself in the lightweight division.
The pair of them meet on May 29 in Las Vegas to contest Haney’s WBC lightweight belt, streamed on DAZN.
35-year-old Linares has five defeats in 52 fights in his career so far, but the veteran is keen to show that he is no mark.
“This is my moment to show the world that I still have a lot more to give at 135 pounds,” Linares said in a Matchroom press release.
“Devin Haney is a talented and quick-handed young man. But when I was his age, I had already become a world champion by snatching the [WBC featherweight] title from a real world champion like Oscar Larios. And now you can imagine how much more experience I have now at an age where I feel stronger and better than ever.”
22-year-old champion Haney has been linked with fights against interim champion Ryan Garcia, and Teofimo Lopez may have designs on his belt to settle the question of whether he is truly the undisputed division champion.
For now he will face Linares, and Haney knows that Linares is a threat with plenty of experience.
“I’m very excited to be making my third world title defense against a great fighter like Jorge Linares,” Haney said, “who will be the best fighter I will have ever faced in my career. He’s a three-division world champion who has fought at the championship level for the past 13 years. I grew up watching Linares, and the fact that this fight is happening in Las Vegas is incredible.
“Boxing fans around the world are eager to see me step up in competition, which is great, and I know Linares is coming to fight. I’m ready to give the fans a spectacular performance. The better competition brings the best out of me. Against Linares, I’m going to show the world why I’m the king of the lightweight division.”